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  • drdianehamilton 12:17 pm on May 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Julia Roberts, Larry Crowne, , , ,   

    You Are Only as Good as Your Last Deal: Top 5 Ways to Avoid Being Expendable at Work 

     

    There is an expression that is often used in sales:  “You are only as good as your last deal.” What is meant by that is that management has a short-term memory and no matter how good you were in the past, they are focusing on what you can do for them right now.  It may seem unfair to those who have worked very hard throughout the years to find out that their jobs may be on the line due to one poor month of performance.  However, this is a reality in this market.

    The new movie, Larry Crowne, with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, is about Hanks’ character, a top performing employee who has won the employee of the month something like 8 times.  He is self-confident that management has requested his presence in their office to tell him that he has just won for the 9th time.  Instead, he finds out that they are letting him go due to his lack of a college education. 

    This is a pretty common situation that happens in today’s workplace.  Employees are becoming concerned about keeping their positions.  There are a lot of people with strong work histories out there that are in the market for a job…your job.   There are some important tips to keep in mind when trying to avoid being expendable at work.  These include:

    1. Work harder than your coworkers.  That may seem to be common sense, but it is surprising how many people overlook the fact that they may not be number one in the office.  There is an old expression:  I don’t have to outrun the bear.  I just have to outrun you.  Think of being laid off as the bear and you have to be better than your coworkers to survive.
    2. Multitask.  One way to be more efficient at your job is to multitask.  Some may argue that there is no such thing as true multitasking but there is such a thing as combining small jobs together so that you get more done in less time.  I often share an example with my students of how I would type my call notes while “dialing for dollars” so that I could make twice as many phone calls as my coworkers who waited until the call was completed to type up their notes.  Find ways to combine things like this to be more efficient.
    3. Add value through education.  The Tom Hanks example is a good reason why you should consider furthering your education to compete. You might find that a certification is enough.  You might find that an MBA would add value.  Find the thing that makes you stand out from your fellow coworkers. 
    4. Put in the time.  If you are the last one to get to work and the first one to leave, you may find that management has noticed.  Look around your office and pay attention to who gets there late, who lollygags around and doesn’t work hard.  Put in the hours but also be sure that management sees how hard you are working.  There is no shame in copying them on things that show you have done well.
    5. Work smarter vs. harder.  Some people think that just putting in more work hours means they are working hard.  If you are the guy/gal who plans the plan to plan the plan, then you are not efficient.  A plan is important to keep you on track. Just be sure you don’t spend all of your time planning and none of your time doing. 

    If you do these 5 things, you’ll be well on your way to outrunning your coworkers and avoiding the bear (loss of employment).

     
  • drdianehamilton 2:03 pm on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , movabletype, , TypePad,   

    Blog Overload: Who Has Time to Read it All? 

     

    There is no question that the blogosphere is growing.  According to webdesignerdepot “WordPress has statistics for both WordPress.com (15.1 million blogs and counting) and self-hosted WordPress installations (17.4 million active installations), which gives part of the picture. There are more than 10 million tumblogs on Tumblr. Blogger doesn’t offer any public statistics on how many blogs they host. Technorati is currently tracking more than 1.2 million blogs. And there are likely millions of other blogs out there hosted on other services like Movable Type, TypePad, Expression Engine, and other CMSs.”

    There is no shortage of blog search engines to find blogs that contain information of interest. There are also lots of articles by sites like Forbes and others who occasionally list their idea of top blogging sites.  Google and Google News features can be incorporated into an iGoogle page, and can be another way to keep up with topics to follow. 

    With all of this information out there, who has time to read it all?  Bloggers know it can be good form to make comments on others’ blogs.  However, finding the time to not only read these blogs but formulate insightful comments may be difficult. Even if people find a good blog to follow and subscribe to their RSS feed, as sites continue to be added to the feed, the feed reader may have more information than people have time to visit. 

    There has been speculation about when blogging popularity will die down.  The latest discussion is whether Facebook will replace blogging and company websites.  Cnet reported, “Even if Facebook doesn’t somehow supplant lots of Web sites, though, there’s no denying the social network is becoming more important to marketing, and it’s adapting to the idea.

    With technology constantly changing, people may find it difficult to keep up with it all.  To get an idea of just how many blogs and how much information is out there, check out the following graph:

     

    Ever wondered how many blogs are there on internet?how big is the blogosphere‘. How much revenue is generated from blogs? what are the key demographics for the blogging publishers? and what are the languages used used online? This Infographics is an answer to these questions.
    state_of_the_blogosphere
     

     

     
  • drdianehamilton 4:25 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More, Address Book, , , Get-It-Done Guy, , , , , , Procrastination, Quick and Dirty Tips, , Stever Robbins, , The Get It Done Guy, , , , ,   

    Book Review: Get it Done Time Management Tips 

    I sometimes like to review books that I feel are helpful and fit into my goal of helping people reach their lifetime potential.  A book that I feel fits into that category is by Stever Robbins and is titled Get-It-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More.  I am a fan of the quickanddirtytips.com site where Stever’s work can be found.  Also on that site is the Grammar Girl, Girlfriend MD and House Call Doctor.  I often send my students to the Grammar Girl site as I think it has a ton of helpful grammar tips, written in a fun and more entertaining style.

    Robbins book, 9 Steps to Work Less and do More, is also written in a very informative style.  He writes about many of the things that I also write about in my books (The Online Student User’s Manual and How to Reinvent Your Career) including time management, goal setting and more.

    How to Reinvent Your Career by Dr. Diane Hamilton

     

    I thought I’d point out some important things that he writes about in his 9 steps.

    Step 1:  Live on Purpose

    In his book, Stever stated, “If you’re anything like me, a lot of what you call work has very little to do with getting anything important done in life.”  I think this is a very important statement because I see a lot of my students and people I work with who seem busy but don’t really accomplish anything.  One thing that Stever writes about in this section that I feel is extremely important is that your actions should match your goals.  We all see the busy person who works the 80 hour week and yet are they really working smart or are they just working hard?  It is very important to have goals and to be sure that you are doing the appropriate actions to meet those goals. What is nice about Stever’s book is that he gives nice examples and step by step explanations of “how” to get to where you are going.

    Step 2:  Stop Procrastinating

    Procrastination can be a big problem for a lot of people.  In the book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, that I co-wrote with Toni Rothpletz,  I mentioned that I am a qualified Myers-Briggs instructor.  One of the most interesting things I found out about personalities is that about the people who like to wait until the last minute.  Some people actually naturally do better work at the last minute if they have a “P” personality as assigned by the MBTI personality assessment instrument.  While I agree with Stever that it is important to turn tasks into habits to stop procrastinating, there are some people who have a high “P” personality who actually work better when they are under pressure and have deadlines.  The only thing I would add to what Stever writes about here, is for those of you who have taken a personality assessment similar to the MBTI and found that you are a “P”.  If you are a high “P”, you should set time managed goals for when your project or activity should be completed.  “P” personalities seem like they are procrastinators because they wait to do things, but if they have a goal to do things that they know they must meet, they are more apt to do that thing by that timeframe.

    Another thing I like about Stever’s book is he writes about breaking things into baby chunks to make goals seem more manageable.  I often write about this in my blogs and my books.  It is like the movie with Bill Murray “What About Bob” where they talk about doing baby steps.  In my book The Online Student’s User Manual, I wrote, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”  It is a goofy saying but it is also very true.  If you are a procrastinator, it may help you to think of a big project as smaller more manageable pieces.  I find this helps my doctoral students quite a bit as writing a dissertation can be overwhelming.  By thinking of it chapter by chapter, instead of an entire project, it can be less intimidating.

    Step 3:  Conquer Technology

    In Stever’s book he mentions he used a PDA for a year and then reviewed whether the promised benefits were actually beneficial.  I personally like to use iGoogle to keep track of a lot of my information.  I often recommend this to my students and have written about it here on my blog.  I think technology can be frightening for many but sites like iGoogle are very user friendly and can be accessed from many locations.  You can keep your Calendar, Address Book, etc. there as well as your RSS feeds and many other things to keep you organized.

    Step 4:  Beat Distractions to Cultivate Focus

    I liked Stever’s suggestion of keeping an interruptions list.  I tend to do that a lot as well.  I am the type of person that has things pop into my head often.  This is not so great when it happens at 2 am!  However, I like to write down any ideas I have on a piece of paper and get back to them later.  The trick is to write them down and then get right back to what you were doing so that you don’t jump around and be all over the place.  Instead you keep your focus.

    Step 5:  Stay Organized

    In this chapter, Stever covers the all important area of having organization skills.  I happen to be pretty good in this area naturally but I see a lot of people really need help with this.  I have taught time management skills to organizations where we discuss keeping track of emails, only looking at mail once and prioritizing.  This is the type of thing he gets into in this chapter.  He does a nice job including examples of checklists, etc. to get his point across.

    Step 6:  Stop Wasting Time

    This chapter is a very important one as far as I am concerned.  I have seen so many people who plan the plan to plan the plan and never get anything done.  People are not aware of how much time they waste.  I often have my first year college students map out a 24 hour period of time to write down exactly what they do every hour.  It can be enlightening for them to see how much time they really waste.  Stevers mentioned to be sure that what you are doing is actually work.  I was surprised by how many people I have worked with that thought they were doing work but were actually doing things that were wasting their time.  I am a huge fan of multi-tasking.  Many people over-look the importance of this skill.  When I was cold-calling in a sales job, I could type my notes while I talked to the people on the phone.  Other sales people would talk on the phone and then type their notes.  I could make twice as many calls because I could multi-task.  Are you multi-tasking whenever possible?  You could free up a lot of time by doing so.

    Step 7:  Optimize

    Are you doing things more than once?  Are you efficient or just effective?  I see a lot of perfectionists who are very effective but lack in efficiency.  There needs to be a balance.  Stever mentions the importance of knowing when to get expert help.  Sometimes you can do it all and you have to learn when to delegate or ask others for help.  He recommends creating resource books as your learn new tasks to refer to later for help on things you have learned.

    Step 8:  Build Stronger Relationships

    I like how Stever mentions you can’t there alone.  I completely agree.  There are so many people and resources out there to help you.  I know I personally have found Linkedin helpful to meet people who have given me some excellent advice and direction.  I highly recommend checking out their Q&A area as well as joining some of their groups.  Don’t just join though; you must participate in order to the most out of it.

    Step 9:  Leverage

    In Stever’s final chapter he writes about making sure to leverage in order to get results.  He explains using automation to get leverage.  There has never been a better time to use technology and automation to your advantage.  He mentions combining rather than multitasking to get things done.  I think there is a time for both.  Many people get confused as when to combine and when to multitask.  In this final chapter, Stever gives some excellent suggestions for ways to obtain the results you desire.

    I highly recommend that you check out Stever’s book.  In it, he covers each of these topics in much more detail and gives great examples and specifics about how master these steps.

     
  • drdianehamilton 11:51 am on October 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    How to Reinvent Your Career 

    If you have lost your job or are in a career that you dislike, there is hope. In her latest book, How to Reinvent Your Career: Make Money Doing What You Love, Dr. Diane Hamilton explains: There is, in fact a way to find YOUR definition of that dream job and make the money you deserve every day.
    Mike Leonard of NBC Today‘s Show states: There has never been a better time to take note of Dr. Diane Hamilton’s wise and encouraging advice. Use this book as a road map to a better career and a more fulfilling life.”

    Many people have recently lost their jobs, forcing them to recreate their jobs and their lives—allowing them to finally do what they love. There are more freelancers and new businesses than ever before. Out of some abominable situations can come great ingenuity.

    Looking to reinvent your career? Dr. Diane Hamilton, author of the newly released book, How to Reinvent Your Career, has the experience and tools for creating a new work identity. After remaining in the same company for 20 years, she found the power to leave and reinvent her career and her life. Over the course of her working career she has reinvented herself 10 times, and with each job came a new lesson—both about life and the working world. Turning life lessons into real solutions, today Dr. Diane Hamilton is an author, speaker and teaches courses at multiple online universities.

    The first step Hamilton recommends for reinventing a career is finding out what are the “tasks” one truly enjoys doing on a day to day basis. Starting in an administrative job, Diane realized early on that she loved to do paperwork and work on computers. To many people, this is the worst part of the day but for her, a satisfying way to spend her days. Now, 25 years later, Dr. Hamilton is very happy doing these things as an author and online university professor. Everyone has different passions. Once one learns what actually leaves them fulfilled, it is time to do the research and find the job that fits that skill set. Ultimately, enjoying what you do every day will squash those “Sunday Night Blues.”

    Yes, believe it.

    Some jobs are perceived as the “dream job” when in fact it is different for everyone. “I had what seemed to be the perfect job from the outside when I was a pharmaceutical rep. I rarely had to work a full day, I traveled, barely spent any time ‘in’ an office and was financially doing very well,” says Hamilton, “However that was someone else’s dream job, not mine. I refer to this situation as being locked into the golden handcuffs. There are ways to make money and still do the work you love.”

    Personality tests are one way to find out what is the most suitable career to the individual. They are not to be underestimated. In her book Hamilton, a qualified Myers-Briggs instructor and certified emotional intelligence expert, explains the use of personal SWOT analysis, something commonly used by organizations, can be a great personal tool toward the road of job satisfaction and success.

    Above all, times are changing fast. There is new technology and now with the advent of social marketing there is a new way to communicate every day. Being adaptable to change and knowing the right ways to network for mutually beneficial relationships are skills that can be carried over into any career. Taking this time to keep up with the times is an investment in the future—the path to that career dream come true.

    About the Author

    Diane Hamilton has a doctorate in business management. She currently teaches bachelor-, master-, and doctoral-level courses for six online universities. She has written several books including The Online Student’s User Manual, The Young Adult’s Guide to Understanding Personalities and How To Reinvent Your Career. To find out more about her writing, visit her website at http://drdianehamilton.com or her blog at http://drdianehamilton.wordpress.com/. Review copies are available.
    How to Reinvent Your Career: Make Money Doing What You Love is available October, 2010 ($16.95/ Amazon). ISBN: 0982742819/9780982742815

    PR Contact:
    Rebecca Crowley, RTC Publicity
    646-619-1178
    rebecca(at)rtcpublicity(dot)com

    1. # #

    To read full press release click here.

     
    • Jessica Pierce 3:39 pm on October 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Diane -
      I love the concept of your book, looking forward to reading it. I also was in the “golden handcuffs” (which I also call them) and didn’t know that’s what I was experiencing until I got laid off after 10 years. I launched my own business 4 years ago after this lay-off, and now I can’t imagine doing anything else that this career. I love my career and get out of bed everyday saying, “ok, bring it on”! :) If you can, please bring copies of this book and your others to sell when you come out to Career Connectors to speak.

      • drdianehamilton 9:42 pm on October 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Jessica,

        Thank you for your comments. I think a lot of people have found themselves in the golden handcuffs. Sometimes something nudges us out of them and it is the best thing that could happen to us. I am looking forward to discussing this more when I speak to your Career Connectors group next month. Take care.

    • Michelle Petersen 7:05 am on October 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Today we are doing more with less! I am reading your book to reinvent my style and have found it to be solid. Thank you for sharing and I would love to attend your connectors group.

  • drdianehamilton 2:51 pm on August 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Questions for Dr. Diane   

    Ask Dr. Diane: Do You Have A Question? 

    I have dedicated  a section of my blog to answering questions about the topics I cover in my books.  If you have a question about online learning, personalities in the workforce, how to get a job or reinvent your career, personal finance, social media or any of the other topics I cover here, please  email me at diane@drdianehamilton.com and I’ll be happy to post it here with my response.

     
  • drdianehamilton 4:50 pm on June 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: accomplish, , , daytimer, , , expectations, genetics, , hyperactive, measurable, multi task, , , , , , organization, organized, perfectionism, perfectionist, planner, proofreading, , reward, stress, , , tips   

    5 Ways to Develop Time Management Skills For Online Students 

    5 Ways to Develop Time Management Skills

    I often have my students tell me they find it challenging to manage their time wisely. We all have the same amount of time in our day to accomplish things. Why do some people seem to be able to do so much more than others? Some of it is genetics. I know I am on the hyperactive side so I tend to do a lot. Other people might find what I do to be overly stressful. For me, I find that the more I do, the better I feel. You don’t have to be hyperactive to get things done. A lot is based on how organized you are. Here are some tips that may help you:

    1. Put activities you need to do into your planner or calendar. Plan for studying just like you would any other appointment. Mark out time that you will read, write papers, etc.
    2. Set goals for the things you want to accomplish. If you need to write a paper by Friday, have that set up in your calendar, but also have smaller tasks set up as well. For example, you might want to spend an hour on Monday writing the outline, spend an hour on Tuesday researching the topic, spend an hour on Wednesday writing the initial draft, spend an hour on Thursday proofreading and rewriting. By breaking down what needs to be done like this it makes it easier to accomplish your goal. Remember goals need to be measurable. By writing down the due dates for each task, your final goal becomes more easily attainable.
    3. Recognize your roadblocks to success. Are you afraid of criticism? Do you thrive on last minute stress? Are you a perfectionist that may avoid doing things for fear of it not being perfect? These are some of the things that hold people back from completing tasks on time. Try to keep in mind that no one is perfect. If you try hard to write a good paper that is much more important than if the paper is perfect. No paper is perfect. That is too subjective. Worry less about getting perfect grades and spend more time focused on learning. If you thrive on last minute stress, perhaps you need to schedule your time closer to the due date. But be reasonable with time expectations that it may take to complete your assignment.
    4. Are you lacking motivation? Often, people really do have enough time to do the work but they lack motivation. Find ways to reward yourself for doing a good job on your work. If you really want to see a movie or do something fun, have that be a reward for finishing an assignment.
    5. Are you taking advantage of multi-tasking? This is something I do a lot! You can multi-task at work and home in order to create more time in your day. When I exercise, I watch my television shows at the same time. When I have work conversations on the phone, I can type my notes about what we are talking about at the same time to remind me for later. Often times, people do one thing at a time, when they can be doing multiple things to free up more time.

    from http://www.drdianehamilton.com

     
    • Brian Robison 4:51 am on March 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I have (like I am sure many of us have) found that online students have a difficult time with time management. Being an online student, you need to be very motivated and make sure that you stay current in your class. I also believe that the role of the online instructor is changing and we need to do what we can to reach out the students and help them with more than just the course content.

      Great information here!

      • drdianehamilton 3:05 pm on March 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Brian. It is interesting to see how online instruction has changed just in the last 5 years. I look forward to seeing how it will evolve.

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